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Wild land Mike Rupp from Rangers for Darroll Powe, Nick Palmieri

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com
Rupp was on the 2002-03 Devils team that won the Stanley Cup. (Getty Images)

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The Rangers and Wild made a trade on Monday, swapping gritty forwards Mike Rupp and Darroll Powe.

The deal sends Rupp to Minnesota while Powe goes to the Rangers along with AHL forward Nick Palmieri. The Wild announced the trade on Monday afternoon.

The immediate question that comes to mind is, why? Especially from Minnesota's point of view.

They traded Powe, who is most known for his penalty-killing ability, and a decent prospect in Palmieri for the 33-year-old Rupp. Rupp is a lower-line forward but doesn't have the bonus of killing penalties. In 60 games with the Rangers last season, he only was on the ice for 32 seconds of short-handed time. Powe killed 201:07 of PK time for the Wild.

You'd think that perhaps it's because Rupp has a bit more offensive upside, but no. He had four goals (two in the Winter Classic) and one assist in 60 games last season. In eight games this season he doesn't have a point. From a points perspective, there's not much difference between Rupp and Powe. However, Powe is six years younger.

That leaves about only one option for the Wild's interest in Rupp: his size and the grit he brings. He is willing to mix it up and has a bit of a nasty streak, neither of which Powe really has.

"Rupp is a big guy who has won the Stanley Cup," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said. "He brings size, experience and grit to our lineup."

Ah right, I forgot the old "he's won a Cup" aspect of the equation. Now he knows how to win since he did it before.

But seriously, with regard to the bigger, grittier player, it does make some sense. In that respect, it's good to see the Wild identifying a weakness and trying to fix it, even if the cost seems to be a bit much.

Palmieri, a third-round pick in the 2007 draft by the Devils, has 21 points in 40 games in the AHL this season. He has spent some time in the NHL with the Devils and the Wild, totaling 25 points (13 goals) in 87 games.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @StubitsCBS on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube account and like us on Facebook.

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